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Inspiring Leader - DAP Professional of the Year Finalists 2024

Lizzie Willisson

WalkMe Implementation Manager
Flight Centre

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What business problems did your organization / project face, and why did you choose a digital adoption strategy to help you solve it?

Implementation of WalkMe to Flight Centre Agents Globally!

Lizzie joined Flight Centre only 12 months ago, during a time of significant growth post- pandemic. The organisation, regrowing its teams rapidly while simultaneously reengineering the end-to-end booking process, was struggling with a range of challenges from onboarding, process compliance resulting in unprecedented write offs and overall team member productivity challenges. Traditional methods of training and change were insufficient and, as such, the business decided a DAP solution was necessary.

Flight Centre has over 3,000 employees working in 5 diverse regions (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and the United Kingdom). Each region has legal, technology infrastructure and cultural nuances that have historically been a major blocker for scalable productivity initiatives.

Annually, 840 new team members join the decentralised shop network that need high system, product and sales support in their first 12 months, servicing a highly diverse customer and product including: Flights, Cruise, Touring and a wide range of other highly specialised Product Ranges.

Key feedback for new team members not completing their first 12 months was needing more support from leaders and the business, as they struggled to manage the rapid business expansion. Similarly experienced agents struggled with MVP systems which were inefficient, working long hours to support their new team members and balance their existing customer base.

Flight Centre needed a rapidly scalable digital solution to support agents in the field and drive good practice, and in turn, commercial outcomes.

How did you use WalkMe, in conjunction with other strategies and technologies, to address your challenges?

Lizzie has deployed WalkMe in three key ways:

  1. Providing guidance in key workflows, both assisting but also enforcing best practice. This has been embedded in key systems to reduce errors and improve productivity
  2. Introduce validation and automation in key workflows, reducing both delays in value being realised and existing systems’ development backlog
  3. Insights into users behaviours and needs through Engaged Elements and the Insights tool

Lizzie has worked hard with various technology teams to integrate various connections to automate user setup and drive segmentation. Lizzie coordinated these activities with various local IT teams into one simple to use WalkMe Global platform.

How does your digital adoption strategy, especially with regard to WalkMe, impact or benefit your end-users (customers and/or employees), your team, and leadership?

Lizzie has, within only 12 months, led the implementation of WalkMe into all 5 Leisure Regions for our 3 core systems. Lizzie’s deployed best practice foundations for WalkMe including activities such as:

  • Standing up and Championing a Community of Practice across Leisure and Corporate (Benefits include: enabling internal PCI/DSS certifications and approvals, Segmentation with Single Sign On, creation of Industry Partner event and internal growth of WalkMe Builders into new teams such as L&D)
  • Consistently 2.5x Adoption improvement of new enhancement releases (from 20% to over 60% across a number of case studies where WalkMe was used).
  • Rapid stand up of WalkMe into New Airline Booking Systems (under 60 days start to finish) supporting major change initiative

In addition to this, Lizzie championed the creation of Avery, the Persona of WalkMe to front-end users. Recently Awarded Mascot of the Year, Avery has become the first point of contact for support for front-end users.

Exemplifying this user engagement, Avery (WalkMe) had an Easter Egg Hunt, with 10 hidden eggs across the platform for users to find. Consultants and Leaders globally commented on how creative and engaging the campaign was with users finding over 144,000 eggs (average of 48 engagements per user!) Lizzie’s success of the Easter Egg hunt in reinforcing best practice supports the business in the long tail of adoption. She has showcased the power of WalkMe to internal stakeholders for scalable, cost effective change management and governance and won the hearts of end users through the playful and helpful persona of Avery.

How has your digital adoption strategy, especially with regard to WalkMe, helped your organization better achieve its mission, goals, or values?

Flight Centre differentiates itself from online competitors through the agent expertise. Lizzie, through her highly innovative approach with WalkMe, and engagement of internal stakeholders, has delivered solutions that have contributed to major commercial and people benefits such as:

  • Improved Productivity through automation, such as Gift Card processes and booking administration (up to 90% reduction in time and agent clicks)
  • Improved Accuracy and reduced write offs (Write offs halved year on year, internal backend teams reporting basic errors in some scenarios down from 4000 per month to under 10)
  • Improved Staff Retention in part by supporting change and basic workflows, allowing leaders to invest time on advanced topics (turnover reduced year on year by over 26%)

Lizzie has developed and implemented a range of strategies, using the WalkMe Maturity Matrix, that has been further embedding WalkMe best practices and ensuring a variety of internal teams, such as Product, L&D and Change Management, can leverage the scalable solution she has fostered.

What about your implementation or success makes you most proud? Why?

Lizzie has been able to prove WalkMe to be scalable and to deliver immediate Customer, Consultant and Commercial benefit. I am most proud of how her approach in standing up WalkMe has been done, showcasing the breadth of capability of the system and the diversity of use cases it can address.

Evidence of Lizzie’s success is in the wider business engagement! Internal businesses are now actively seeking out WalkMe as a key tool for their project success and Consultants (ultimately Lizzie’s customer of WalkMe) are engaging with Lizzies award winning Persona, Avery.

Lizzie constantly, with each deployment, delivers what is needed for the immediate project – but also ensures that any opportunity to increase WalkMes capability is also included with each iteration. Improvements such as session playback, Insights and Engaged Elements, Chatbots, Segmentation and a host of other capabilities we now leverage to make our next change even more successful.

Please share any additional information about your role in the project, your results, and/or your vision for the future that supports your submission.

Based on Lizzies success in the first 12 months, the business has looked to increase the scope to other brands and other teams. Lizzie has been working to upskill the L&D team to include WalkMe as a key tool within all onboarding processes, greatly increasing Flight Centre’s internal capability to deploy WalkMe for the benefit of all consultants.

The framework which Lizzie has developed has become the foundation for current and future Brands, new systems and WalkMe builders.

In an environment of a high failure rate of Projects, Lizzie has shown that WalkMe can successfully be deployed rapidly, and in turn, created a blueprint for future expansion of the product into the wider Flight Centre Travel Group organisation.

About your organization

Flight Centre is recognised as a global leader in travel. With over 40 years in the Travel Industry, innovation and industry disruption has been key to the success of the brands rapid growth through some of the most challenging market conditions. Selling a diverse range of specialist Travel Products including Round the World Airfares, Touring, Cruise and much much more, Flight Centre is focused on Modernizing the Retail Experience. Investing heavily in technology and its extensive shop network to give customers a seamless experience in 5 regions globally.